Mother, am I Thine eight-months child?

by Ramprasad (Ramprasad Sen)

Original Language Bengali

Mother, am I Thine eight-months child?
Thy red eyes cannot frighten me!
My riches are Thy Lotus Feet,
which Shiva holds upon His breast;
Yet, when I seek my heritage,
I meet with excuses and delays.
A deed of gift I hold in my heart,
attested by Thy Husband Shiva;
I shall sue Thee, if I must,
and with a single point shall win.

If Thou dost oppose me,
Thou wilt learn what sort of mother's son I am.
This bitterly contested suit between the Mother and Her son --
What sport it is! says Ramprasad.
I shall not cease tormenting Thee
Till Thou Thyself shalt yield the fight
and take me in Thine arms at last.

-- from Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar, by Elizabeth U. Harding

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Haven't you ever felt the strong current of peevishness? Why not harness its power in the spiritual path? Throw a holy tantrum until the Divine Mother relents and picks you up in Her arms!

Ramprasad's opening line is an interesting one: "Mother, am I Thine eight-months child?" Here he is chiding Kali, the Divine Mother, for trying to frighten him away with Her "red eyes," that is, for trying to overwhelm him with the fear of death and the dangers of the world. He was not born early and small; he is not a runt or a weakling. He's not so easily frightened by such games of illusion.

Ramprasad knows very well that he is a child of the Divine Mother and, as such, a divine heritage is his birthright. But when he tries to claim it, "I meet with excuses and delays." I can just hear spiritual aspirants all over the world chuckling. Instead of blaming his own spiritual lethargy, he blames God! And threatens to sue Her! If the Divine Mother opposes him in court and refuses to grant him access to spiritual awakening, he even threatens God with, "Thou wilt learn what sort of mother's son I am."

Is this impious? If so, such impiety is necessary. We must each take God to court. We must always question and, yes, demand. When we do this properly, our legal suit consumes our lives, moving from its initial stages in the intellect, spreading to our actions, and ultimately permeating all of our awareness. This legal suit with God becomes the core of our spiritual practice. The limited mind's contest with the Unlimited leads it to a supreme focus, a "single point"... into which it disappears, and then the case is finally won.

The Divine Mother knows full well what She's doing. It is the struggle to attain spiritual awakening that makes us strong enough to actually receive it.

How does the Divine Mother know we are ready to be lifted into Her arms? When we demand so persistently that She can no longer ignore us. That is why the most pious prayer to God is, "I shall not cease tormenting Thee / Till Thou Thyself shalt yield the fight." That's the attitude that finally brings us into awareness of the Divine Embrace.

Recommended Books: Ramprasad (Ramprasad Sen)

This Dance of Bliss: Ecstatic Poetry from Around the World Singing to the Goddess: Poems to Kali and Uma from Bengal Kali: The Black Goddess of Dakshineswar Mother of the Universe: Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment Great Swan: Meetings with Ramakrishna
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Mother, am I Thine